A high court judge has apologised to jurors after the trial of a man accused of murdering Fife pensioner Annie Temple was delayed again.
Sandeep Patel, 38, denies killing the 97-year-old at her home in Kinglassie in October 2019.
Proceedings at Glasgow High Court have stalled since the first full-day of evidence last Thursday.
On Monday, the remote jury was told that the hearing was adjourned for at least 24 hours, while the accused was tested for coronavirus.
On Tuesday, Judge Michael O’Grady QC was forced to halt the trial again.
He said the results of Patel’s Covid-19 test are still unavailable.
“We were told yesterday that the test would only take a small amount of time but it would take between eight to 12 hours to process,” he told jurors.
“We were pretty confident that the results would be available today, but the long and short of it is, they aren’t.”
Apologising to the jury, he said: “We have been doing everything we can to move things along but at the end of the day we can’t do anything until we get these results.”
The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday morning.
Patel is accused of murdering Ms Temple on October 25, 2019, at 38 West End, Kinglassie, by repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body, obstructing and constricting her airways and asphyxiating her.
It is further alleged that between April 1 and April 30, 2019, at 38 West End, he stole a sum of money totalling around £1,000 from Ms Temple.
Patel is also accused of, between October 3 and October 23, 2019, at the Royal Bank of Scotland, East Port, Dunfermline; the Nationwide Building Society, High Street, Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, he completed and signed cheques in the name of Annie Temple, with himself as the beneficiary without her knowledge or consent, to the total value of £2,750.
It is also alleged that on July 19, 2019, at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Main Street, Cardenden, Patel presented as genuine a cheque on behalf of Western Toyota for £5, which he altered by adding the word ‘hundred’ and two zeroes, so that it appeared the cheque was for £500.
He denies all charges.